(ISN) – LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western University men’s volleyball team will head into this weekend’s Canada West action having won four of five matches over the break. The Spartans finished of the holiday’s with a 3-0 win over Korea’s Sung-Kyun-Kwan University. With the 25-22, 25-20, 25-18 win the No. 4 Spartans improve their overall record to 20-6 (10-4 CW)
“This team is the best international team we have played this year. The timing of our block was a problem early on. But we figured that out and had some stuffs and forced them to hit balls out instead of off our hands,” commented TWU head coach Ben Josephson on his team’s early play.
The Spartans blocking and serving were the difference for the home team. TWU out-blocked SKK 11.5 to three and had an 8-3 advantage in service aces.
“You have to serve well when you are at home. But we are going to have to serve well on the road as well. Last weekend we couldn’t find our serve so we were under a lot more pressure with our block, but tonight we were able to take a little more risk with our guys,” commented Josephson. “We have to have an advantage blocking. At this stage we are not a good attacking team so we have to put up good block numbers to overcome the kill disadvantage that we have, but today was our best offensive match in some time.”
Fifth year outside Nick Del Bianco with 15 kills and third year outside Ryan Sclater with 13 kills and three aces paced the Spartans attack, while Lee Si Woo led SKK with 11 kills. Second year setter Adam Schriemer led the TWU offence with 24 set assists, with third year setter Devyn Plett adding nine assists. Hwang Teak Ui led SKK with 27 set assists.
“He is so good. It as it should be, he is with his fifth year class and he is setting Nick and Brandon [Schmidt], the guys he came in with and is supposed to be with on the floor. It is fun to see them playing together again,” commented Josephson on setter Devyn Plett being back on the TWU floor. “Were just happy that he is healthy enough to contribute.”
The opening set belonged to SKK in the early going as Lee Si Woo, who had five kills, led SKK to 8-5 and 19-13 leads. With the Spartans trailing 21-15 TWU started to find their attacking and blocking. The Spartans climbed back into the set by taking four straight points to trail 21-19. SKK got the next point to lead 22-20, but it would be their last of the set as the Spartans, behind the serving of Scott Plocktis and the blocking of Levi Wolthuis, Blake Scheerhorn and Nick Del Bianco, took five straight points to open the match with a 25-22 win. TWU’s Ryan Sclater finished the opening set with five kills, while Wolthuis finished with four blocks. TWU finished the set with a 32.0 attack efficiency, while SKK finished at 14.3 percent.
The Spartans carried their first set momentum into the second set and led 8-5 and 16-11 at the technical timeout. TWU maintained their advantage through the reminder of the set and after a Nick Del Bianco cross court kill had earned a 25-20 second set win and a 2-0 set advantage. Bea In Ho led SKK in the second set with four kills, while the Spartans were paced by Del Bianco’s five kills. The Spartans attack improved in the second set as improved to 44 percent, while SKK improved to 19.2 percent.
Trinity Western continued their dominance into the third set as the led 8-3 and 16-11 at the technical break. The Spartans would extend their lead to seven points to take the set 25-18 and the match 3-0.TWU’s attack fell off slightly to 37 percent, while SKK improved to 22.6 percent.
“I’m feeling good now,” said Josephson when asked about going into this week’s Canada West matches. “About halfway through the first set the team started playing with a sense of urgency that we are going to need play with in the second half of the Canada West season.”
“I’m excited that our mindset is now knows what a competitive match feels like. We still have a lot to clean up, but our goal was to have the correct feel for a competitive match going into this weekend.”
The Spartan begin the second half of the Canada West season this Friday and Saturday when they will travel to Regina to take on University of Regina Cougars. Both matches can be watched live on Canadawest.TV
Match Notes: tonight’s match marked the first match back for setter Devyn Plett, who had sat out most of the last two and a half seasons. Plett played his last match, and only match of the season, in 2012-13. He finished with 60 set assists in a 3-2 loss to Manitoba on January 18, 2013… Plett’s 60 assists put him in tie with Josh Howatson’s effort against Alberta Jan. 28, 2006, for the third most assists in a single match in Spartans history… the two teams played a fourth set which SKK won 25-23…